Ask Micah


Lovelorn

Dear Micah,

I’ll keep my question short and simple…How do you stop loving someone after they’ve stopped loving you?

Hanging On

Dear Hanging On,

The answer is simple…You don’t.  Okay, I lied, it’s not that simple, but it still holds true.  Loving someone can sometimes have very little to do with how they feel about you in return.  You are clearly in love with someone who isn’t currently loving you back.  This leaves you two choices: Hang on to an unrequited love or let go and turn this into a learning experience.  Only through doing the latter will you be able to move forward and ready yourself to love again with someone new.  It’s okay for love to end sometimes.  Whenever a love ends it gives us the opportunity to assess it, find the mistakes we made that helped to kill it, and to identify the traits we were drawn to in the first place so that we know what we are looking for when the next candidate comes along.  In my opinion I believe that you have to have had your heart broken at least once to ever really trust that you know what love really feels like.  I know that everyone likes to believe in this mythical magical love that doesn’t end, but the truth of the matter is that real love takes two people giving of themselves constantly–both equally committed to nurturing it and keeping it alive.  If one person fails to uphold their end of it, the whole thing withers away leaving the one still in love dumbfounded.  But that’s all right.  You can pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and try again with someone new.  Remember that not everyone gets ONE great love that lasts a lifetime.  Sometimes you get several smaller loves that fill up a lifetime and this was just one of those for you.  So let go of it and get ready for the next one that’s on its way.

The Surrogate Daughter

Dear Micah,

I have an unusual situation.  When my daughter was growing up she was best friends with a neighbor girl I’ll call Lisa.  Because of this friendship Lisa was always at our house and became like a second daughter to us.  Her own home wasn’t very good and she stayed with us most of the time.  The girls are all grown up now and went off on their own.  Lisa has since hit a rough patch and I allowed her to move in with us until she gets on her feet.  My daughter has suddenly become hostile towards Lisa and is accusing me of trying to replace her with Lisa.  I guess I could solve it by asking Lisa to leave, but that’s not very fair to her.  What can I do?

Dora

Dear Dora,

You sound like a very caring and generous woman.  In Lisa’s childhood when her own home wasn’t bearable you opened your home and your heart to her.  Then in her adulthood when she needed help again, you were there for her once more.  I do not think that you would be able to bring yourself to toss her out even for your daughters sake.  It sounds to me like your daughter just has a nasty case of the jealousies.  Perhaps this is your fault.  Maybe she feels like you aren’t calling her enough to see how she’s getting along.  Maybe she feels like Lisa is monopolizing all of your time and attention.  Perhaps she feels like you would rather have Lisa for a daughter.  Who knows?  Just try to pay more attention to your daughter and schedule some time to go to lunch with her or go shopping or do something together–just the two of you.  Do not invite Lisa to tag along.  See if that helps to alleviate some of this hostility so that it doesn’t affect her friendship with Lisa or her relationship with you.

Trust Issues

Dear Micah,

Some time ago I started to suspect my husband of cheating.  I have a great group of girlfriends and they all pitched in and took shifts following him.  As it turns out all those times I thought he was messing around he really was working late, and going to the gym, and hanging out with a friend of his.  Everything would have been fine once I figured out he wasn’t unfaithful, except one of my girlfriends told her husband how they’d all been playing amateur detective and as you can guess he told my husband.  He hasn’t spoken more than two words at a time to me since.  Now he really does stay out most of the night and our relationship is in shambles.  I feel just awful and ashamed that I didn’t trust him but I think it’s too late to do anything about it.  How can I fix this?

Sorry Now

Dear Sorry Now,

You have to find a way to get him to sit down and have a discussion about things with you.  If he refuses, then post this article up EVERYWHERE in your house, on his steering wheel, and anywhere else he’ll see it until he reads it and can get some perspective into your side of the story.  You made a wrong assumption and you embarrassed him among all of your shared friends.  But if he would only stop and seriously examine the circumstances for a moment, he may understand.  It sounds to me like he had always been reliable and trustworthy.  He went to work and came home and if he ever did anything else it was usually pretty scheduled and his patterns of work and play rarely deviated from that schedule.  Then suddenly he was coming home late and staying away more often and after a while your mind started to wander and you began to worry that you might be about to become one of “those women” who never saw it coming.  Perhaps he has never given you any reasons to mistrust him, and perhaps you overreacted, but he might have done the same thing in your place.  Sadly, in this day and age when adultery is all too common, I don’t think you should be penalized for suspicion having crossed your mind if he had begun to act erratically.  Whether or not you should have made your suspicions as public as you did is hard to say.  Women tend to tell their girlfriends everything whereas men usually keep their private issues private.  I think you have learned a valuable lesson about the kind of trustworthy man that you have and how you should have more facts before you blab your personal matters to others.  However, I also think you have been punished enough and he should forgive you and stop giving you the silent treatment.  The last thing that needs to happen is for your marriage to become irrevocably damaged because of this stupid misunderstanding.  Your husband needs to decide whether or not your blunder was worth dissolving your marriage over.

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